Native American



And we're back. This week's choice of strong look is inspired by two weeks' travel through the Oregon and California wilderness and specifically, a stay at the Historic Requa Inn, at the mouth of the Klamath River on the far northern California coast. The surrounding land was the traditional home of the Yurok Indian people and the Inn itself stands within what is now the Yurok Indian Reservation. It is run by Jan Wortman, a woman of Yurok ancestry who grew up on the Reservation.


The principal currency of the Yurok was the Dentalium mollusk shell, and multiple long strands of these are worn by the woman above to display her wealth and as a form of adornment. Basket weaving is also central to Yurok crafts, and the rounded and geometrically patterned basket hat she wears is typical of this culture.

As is legible in the image, the woman shown is Lucy Thompson, who in 1916 published the book To The American Indian: Reminiscences of a Yurok Woman, with the intention of preserving her people's culture and experiences and enlightening white settlers, to one of whom she was married. It went on to receive the American Book Award some decades later.

Shiprock rocks

In putting together yesterday's Round-Up I had an exploratory rummage through Shiprock Santa Fe's selection of contemporary bangles and cuffs and was blown away by the stunning and unique pieces in their collection. So much so that for fear of dominating the whole egalitarian round-up concept, I'm just giving them their own post! Here are more than a few I can't stop looking at. 

(Click the images to access their respective pages on Shiprock's website and again, if viewing on a mobile, turn it sideways to see captions.)

Silversmithing is relatively new to Native American material culture, and items in Shiprock's collections of Native American jewellery range from late 19th century to contemporary pieces, hand-drawn and forged to machine processed. Each is selected and evaluated by Jed Foutz, the man behind Shiprock and himself raised on the Navajo Nation in a family of art traders.

All images from Shiprock Santa Fe's website.